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I know it’s a bit belated, but (obviously) I’m back from spending Thanksgiving in Santa Barbara, CA and still can’t get over how amazingly relaxing and fun it was. I turned off my work email the second I boarded the plane on Wednesday (at 6:30 a.m. OMG early) and didn’t turn it back on until Sunday night right before I took the redeye home. I didn’t set an alarm the entire vacation, and slept the best I’ve slept in… a long time. Feeling rested, tuning out and truly being ‘present’ really allowed me to destress and turn off my brain for a bit. It was lovely.

For the third year, we stayed at the Hotel Oceana which is located right on the beach. I began each morning with an easy run along the beach path, usually around 30 minutes, and ate a leisurely breakfast outside in the sun. I just wanted to kickstart my day with a little sweat, but mostly just to take advantage of these gorgeous views.

We’d then go over to my aunt and uncle’s house, spending some quality time hanging out with the whole family, and (regrettably) teaching my Grandma how to use Facebook and Instagram on her iPad. Yup, needed a few glasses of wine during and after that lesson…

The whole family

Now that my sister and cousins are over 21,we enjoyed a fun night out in Santa Barbara on Friday…followed by a tipsy walk home along the beach.

Yes, I am short. I also think I was the only one not in heels.

We had an incredible Thanksgiving, followed by 2 days of leftovers. Which basically meant a full Thanksgiving 3 days in a row…and it was amazing. I think I could eat turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie and drink wine 365 days a year and be perfectly happy.

But now I’m back to reality in chilly NYC, trying to get back into the routine of getting myself out the door to run most days. Since it’s been a while since I’ve followed any sort of ‘plan’, I’m kind of struggling with running 5-6 days a week again and getting my mileage up. Lately, I’ve been doing around 4-5 days a week but at least 1 or 2 of those days is something easy like 2 miles before I pretend to lift at the gym. Somehow I can’t even seem to get to 30 miles per week, a relatively low number that always has been pretty easy to exceed.

Quite honestly, it’s just so much nicer to sleep in or be lazy or let early mornings/late nights at work get in the way. I need to remind myself that generally, I feel better after starting my morning with a few miles. It’s true, I rarely regret getting up and out the door. I’m more awake and feel better throughout the day. But my runs have been really slow and drag on, and I sometimes wonder how I’ll get back to the point where hitting 50+ mpw with workouts and long runs ain’t no thang.

Most of my runs have been pretty unremarkable, hovering around a comfortable 8:00 min. pace (which I’d like to work on bringing down), but there have been a few good days here and there!

The day before I left for Thanksgiving, I worked from my house in NJ and went for a nice mid-afternoon run to break up the day. I ran one of my favorite routes through a few parks and started pushing the pace without realizing it. 8 miles later, I hit an average of 7:21 pace with the last 3 miles at 7:09, 7:08 and 6:55. It was hard, but in that awesomely-uncomfortable way that I haven’t felt in a while.

And on Thursday of this week, I decided to attempt a solo workout just to get my legs moving a bit. It was nothing special, I just did 2x 1 loop of the Central Park reservoir (~1.58 miles) with .5 jog between. I hovered around 6:45 and 6:40 pace, which is a bit depressing since I used to be able to maintain that for 8 mile tempos (lolz) and I wanted to die after just 1 loop, but any easily-digestible workout is good right now.

And today I did my longest run in quite a while! I started out with Veronica and Meredith, then hopped back on the bridle after they peeled off, running into Nicole and Sarah for a few more miles. The run ended up flying by, ending up at my apartment 11.25 miles later. Running with people will always beat running solo.

My goals for this upcoming week include:

  • Unpack my suitcase from last week (I know, I know…)
  • Get my couch delivered (Friday!) and find a coffee table
  • Buy a real Christmas tree and lights, and decorate my apartment
  • Run at least 30 miles and rest up before a busy weekend that includes not one but TWO! friends’ Christmas parties, Ely’s bridal shower, and volunteering as a running buddy at Girls on the Run 5K!

Work Hard, Play Hard

January 24th, 2012 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (20 Comments)

Lately I’ve been thinking my life has been a little unbalanced…I’ve been going out more, sleeping less, eating poorly, running too slow…Quite simply, just being a normal single 24 year old in NYC with a full-time job and active social life. Nothing wrong with that.

The more I thought about it, the more I realize it’s not unbalanced, it’s actually very well balanced. Between unhealthy, no-sleep, bad-for-training-but-awesomely-fun stuff, there’s still plenty of wholesome, healthy, good-for-running stuff. A healthy mix of both. And that balance is keeping me pretty happy, much happier than I’ve been in a while.

I’m not a model runner. Sometimes I take too many rest days, or run slower than I should in workouts. Some nights post-workout, I have a great protein-packed smoothie and get 9 hours of sleep, and sometimes I have 6 beers and no dinner while playing flip cup ’till midnight on a Thursday. Sometimes I spring out of bed at 6am to run 15 miles, and sometimes I close down bars and don’t go to sleep until 6am two nights in a row. Sometimes I eat healthy kale & veggie salads, and sometimes I eat scrambled eggs in bed off of a paper towel (this happens more than I’d like to admit…don’t judge me?).

While sure, a bit more sleep and healthier eats would help me feel a bit better on runs, it’s just not realistic for me. Yeah, I take running seriously and love it (duh, you’re reading a blog about it), but I also want to remind you that I’m not a robot runner. I do the best I can while striking a good balance. I love rest days more than anything, I rarely stretch or ice, I’d rather gauge my eyes out than run on a treadmill, but for all that laziness I also work hard when the time comes. My success doesn’t come from training and living like a maniac, eating a perfect nutrient-packed diet, doing all the ‘extras’ or not drinking. Instead, I’d say it’s a bit of hard work, stubbornness, some natural ability and keeping it enjoyable. Being if it’s not fun, why am I doing it? Nobody’s headed to the Olympics anytime soon around here.

Phew. Hope you enjoyed that ramble and glimpse into my (sometimes) mess of a life. This past week was actually a pretty good one, all things considered!

  • M: 6 slowwwww miles (like, 8:45 slow for me), still a little sick/achy
  • T: 8.25 in am w/ Alex around reservoir
  • W: 4.25 miles in morning + core/lifting
  • R: 2 warmup, 6.06 workout in 41:18 (splits below), 2 cooldown
  • F: OFF
  • S: OFF
  • S: 12.75 miles at night

Total: 41.25

The workout went pretty well on Thursday, I started feeling a bit back to normal after getting sick last weekend and was excited to return to CPTC workouts since I hadn’t been to one since the marathon. Our group wanted to start out at a conversational pace and bring the pace down, and I was happy I felt pretty strong in the last 2 miles. While it wasn’t completed at the prescribed half-marathon pace (really? who wants to run half of a half-marathon?), it felt like a good solid effort to me.

Workout 1/19

Post-workout, I kicked off the weekend fun a bit early by heading straight to my intramural dodgeball game and then to the bar to drink away our loss. A few beers, no dinner, and flip cup victories later, I was quite drunk. Ooops?

Friday night was also pretty fun, as a few friends from Villanova met up for a Restaurant Week dinner at Ajna Bar in the meatpacking district. It was delicious, especially the cocktails! Highly recommended for restaurant week.

Afterwards, we headed to Brass Monkey for “just a few drinks”. Suddenly, it was 4:15 am and we were outside in the snow hailing a cab in heels. And then Noelle and Kristen came back to my apartment and we ate apple cider doughnuts and peanut butter. Champs.

I woke up early on Saturday (probably still drunk) to head to the Villanova basketball game at MSG w/ a few more ‘Nova friends visiting town from DC. And we won, woo!

Saturday night was a date night, starting with dinner at Bubby’s in Tribeca…mmmm flaky biscuits, juicy burger, mac & cheese, key lime pie, and coffee. Love me some comfort food.

The night continued at Fat Cat, a super cool/hipsterish bar where unfortunately, we didn’t get to play ping pong due to the long wait. We ended up going up to the UES to meet up with my Nova friends who were visiting, which was really great! A few hours later, it was sometime after 6:30 and time to sleep.

After a very lazy Sunday in bed, my planned long run still loomed over my head. Luckily, I had some company to get me out the door and motivate me to finally lace up and hit the roads around 7:30 at night. We did around 12.75 together, and while our ~7:40 pace was probably painfully slow for him, I was glad to have a cute guy to help the miles fly by. Lucky me :)

This week I’ll look to hit 45 miles, which should be pretty easy. As always, you can follow along on my Boston Google doc easily found on the training tab above.

What’s your idea of balance? Highlight of the weekend?

‘Tis The Season

December 23rd, 2011 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (5 Comments)

TGIF! It’s Friday and I finally headed out of the city back home to NJ for Christmas this afternoon. It’s starting to feel like Christmas time which I love. I’m thankful to only live a 35 minute train ride out of the city, as braving the crowds of Penn Station was torturous enough. I’m excited to spend a lot of QT with my mom and sister, relaxing and enjoying the holiday after a pretty busy week.

On Monday, my colleague and I rented a ZipCar and drove 4-5 hours to upstate NY for a meeting at the Chobani plant in South Edmeston. We stayed at the cutest hotel in Hamilton, NY called the Colgate Inn, which is about 30 minutes from the plant.

Chobani Plant

On Tuesday, I got my first tour of the plant which was so cool! I didn’t know what I expected, but it was a lot different than what I’d pictured. We got to go into the depths of the plant, and the coolest part was seeing where they strain out the whey. The plant has expanded a lot in the last 4 years as the company has grown, but it’s still hard to believe that it’s all produced right there in farm country.

I was pretty beat from the weekend, travel, and driving so I didn’t run at all Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.  The weather was so unseasonably warm yesterday, I had to hit the roads. In a t-shirt and shorts, nonetheless!

Hello first day of winter. While my pace was pretty good, I struggled aerobically which indicates I’m terribly out of shape and have no base. I should probably start running more than twice a week, oops?

Last night, I went on a little dinner date (yes, a date!) at the newest outpost of The Meatball Shop in the West Village. It’s just as cozy and small as the Lower East Side location, but luckily we only had a 5 minute wait for dinner around 6:30. Since I can’t commit to just one ball (ha), I got the sliders (spicy pork w/ spicy meat sauce, veggie w/ mushroom sauce, and special lamb meatballs with pesto sauce) along with a market salad with pomegranate seeds!

And of course, we just had to split an ice cream sandwich with the specials of the day: Gingerbread ice cream with chocolate peppermint cookies. Yummmmm. The food was good, but I have to say, the company was even better :) As you know, fall was a little rough in the love department. I am happy to report that I’m finally actually enjoying this whole ‘being single’ and ‘dating’ thing. I’m in a really good place right now, unsure of the future, but couldn’t be happier about it. A few months ago, I never thought I’d feel this way.

One of my goals for 2012 is to strengthen my friendships and surround myself with people that make me happy. I mentioned this before, but I’m so lucky & thankful to finally feel like NYC is home, largely due to the old & new friends I’ve made here. I want to keep in touch with friends near and far more regularly, appreciate them more, and spend more time with them. To kick off the holiday season, I’m headed out to Casey & Matt’s house in NJ tonight to hang out with a small group of college girlfriends. On Monday, I’m heading back out to my old town Basking Ridge for a little reunion with high school friends, and then Wednesday I am off to Miami for New Year’s Eve in South Beach with a big group of college friends. Lots of plans, lots of fun!

Highlight of your week? Plans for the holidays?! Thoughts on Facebook Timeline? I just updated it and I kinda love it.

Greetings from the Road

November 17th, 2011 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (12 Comments)

Greetings from sunny Chandler, Arizona! I’m currently a bit outside of Phoenix for a few days for work, traveling to the Arizona Balloon Classic along with the Chobani CHOmobile. I flew in on Tuesday night and have been having a blast with my new teammates who travel the country year-round with the CHOmobile, going to events, engaging with new fans, and handing out hundreds of thousands of cups of Chobani. Pretty awesome, right?

Unfortunately, I’m only here until very early Saturday morning (like, 6am flight early) as I’m off to San Francisco until the 27th for Thanksgiving with the extended fam, but I’ve been soaking up the experiences as best I can!

And living it all through Instagram photos :)

Sunrise at the hotel

Loading up the truck pre-event

Sunset while driving through Papago Park from Chandler to Scottsdale

Guacamole with all the fixins

I forget what was in this salad, but it was everything.

The event kicks off tomorrow, and I’m so excited to see all the balloons in flight and (hopefully) get to go for a ride in one myself! If you happen to be in the Phoenix area, please stop by!

The trip has been pretty intensive so far (seriously, I’m going to be soooo sore tomorrow from 4 hours of lifting cases of yogurt) but I’m loving it, and have even found a few pockets of downtime to catch up on emails and go for quick runs. Yes, I’ve started running again!

Last week, I talked about how I had no desire to run and wouldn’t lace up my shoes until I did. Well, I’m still loving the rest but went out for an easy 2.5 miles yesterday and 4.5 today. Like, super easy. I felt the need to get movin’ after sitting on a plane and in a truck all day, and AZ’s hot weather meant I could return back to running in a tank top and shorts again! I probably won’t get the chance to run again this weekend, so took advantage of the feeling while I could.

These next few weeks, there is no pressure of hitting certain times or distances. Just lacing up my shoes and doing what I wish. Most days, that will be absolutely nothing. What a concept, eh? :)

As I’ve mentioned before, I am an extremely strong advocate of taking a break from running every once in a while. As much as I love to run, I love not running almost as much. I am not one of those people who hate rest days or get antsy to run when they don’t. I love being lazy. Surprised? Saturdays spent solely in bed watching Netflix (read: my Saturday last week) or nights spent dancing until 4 am are equally as important to my sanity as knocking out a great workout or hitting a 70 mile week. Everything in moderation. Being too “go-go-go” and not breathing in between big races really burns me out, mentally more than physically. The next few weeks of very minimal running is my way of rewarding my body for racing the marathon, and serves as the calm before the storm before Boston training begins. It’ll be here before I know it, so I’m savoring every single moment while I can.

Ever been near Phoenix? Any must-sees while I’m here? Plans for Thanksgiving? Don’t make me feel bad, are you a ‘lazy’ runner too?

Girlfriend Getaway in Chicago

September 28th, 2011 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (13 Comments)

Thanks everyone for the great comments on my NYRR tune-up. Glad to hear I’m not the only crazy one :) My legs are still a bit lethargic, but I was able to squeeze out a tired 7 miles on Monday morning, 8 miles after work yesterday with Terence along the East River (great run but my regular watch died…whoops), and 12 miles this morning as a run-commute on the way to work. While I likely won’t get in a workout this week (Sunday was enough of a workout!), I’m hoping to get in a few more quality miles and save my rest day for either Friday or Saturday, because I’ve got a fun weekend ahead!

Tomorrow night, I’m jetting off to Chicago for a (long overdue) weekend getaway with my two best girlfriends from college. I am so excited to spend a weekend away in an exciting city, catching up and spending some quality time together.

From day 1 of freshman year, Emily, Jordan and I clicked and spent the next four years together as friends, roommates and teammates.

At a frat party, straddling the pole...typical

Pregaming formals with shots

Disney princesses for Halloween!

I'm 21!

Giant snowball?

Why am I posting this picture on the internet? It was halloween.

After graduation, our jobs took us separate ways. I went to NYC to work in PR, Emily went to Atlanta to work for AT&T (and has now moved her rotation to Denver), and Jordan went to South Jersey to work for Lockheed Martin. Yep, they are smart and successful ladies! I not-so-secretly hoped everyone would move to NYC with me, as I missed being able to open up my bedroom door to get fashion advice or to gather on the couch to watch Gossip Girl and America’s Next Top Model.

Miami New Year's

Senior picnic aka lots of drinking

Fancy ladies

Graduation!!

Over the past 2+ years after graduation, we’ve reunited every few months with our college friend group in the city or at the beach, but a girlfriend getaway with just us ladies is something we’ve been trying to plan since this spring and I’m so excited it’s here!

Off, off and AWAY to Chicago!

We wanted to pick a city we’ve all never been to and was easily accessible via direct flights. I have been to Chicago twice, but both times were for work and I did very little exploring since the trip was quick and it was cold! I didn’t even get to go for a run both times I was there! We have a few ‘must-sees’ but for the most part, we’re planning to explore and play it by ear. We have tickets to an Improvised Shakespeare Comedy show, plans to hit up Giordano’s for some Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza, and see the typical ‘Chicago must-sees’: the bean, Sears Tower, Lincoln Zoo, Wrigley Field, etc.

I also have to get in a 20 mile run on Sunday. I’m planning to wake up a bit earlier than normal so that my super long run doesn’t interfere with our activities for the day, since we’re headed to the airport around 4 p.m. on Sunday. I’m not super excited for the early wake up and feeling wiped all day, but hopefully the change of scenery will help the miles fly by. I hear it’s really nice to run along the waterfront, so I’m just planning on running from our hotel along the mile to the water and doing a fun out and back either North or South (or both). Luckily, both Emily and Jordan also ran in college with me, and while they might not be up for joining my 20 miler, they understand and support it.

 Have you ever been to Chicago? Any recommendations for places to visit, dine, shop, walk, explore, etc.? Running route recommendations? How do you stay connected with old friends that live far away—take vacations? Skype? G-chat?

After Saturday’s race, I’ve been taking it a bit easy on the running pace and adding in a bit of extra stretching to let my legs recover. However, my legs are seriously still feelin’ it.

On Sunday, I did an easy 6 mile run around 8:20 pace, followed by stretching/foam rolling at the gym to offset the quad soreness and tightness in my legs. I am always, always a fan of easy running  the day after a workout, race or long run vs. taking a rest day. I find it helps shake out the junk and loosen up the tight muscles versus not moving them and letting the junk sit there longer.

Monday was another easy 6 miles, followed by a rest day yesterday. I hit the bridle path this morning to meet up with Natalie, a new running buddy who is also aiming to run a sub 3:00 marathon this fall! Right around the time she split off around 4 miles, my legs really started feeling much heavier than they did earlier. I had to stop a few times to stretch and get water the last 4 miles on my own. It was kind of like my hamstrings and calves tensed up and weighed 8000 pounds. I also may be exaggerating, a bit.

Here’s to hoping my hamstrings and calves decide to relax a bit before tomorrow night’s 6.5 mile workout! When do I hit the point in marathon training where runs actually start to feel good and effortless? I think I felt that way last year, but maybe I’m imagining it to be easier than it was. Shake out runs, foam rolling, stretching, walking (to continue flushing out the junk), and good old R&R typically work for me, but this heaviness is lingering a bit longer than I’d like. I haven’t taken an ice bath in a few years, but might try to incorporate them into this year’s training post-long run.

———

This shouldn’t be news to me, but today as I ate my lunch I realized I tend to get hooked on a certain meal or food for a while, and become a bit obsessed. I wouldn’t call it a food rut, because I never feel like I’m in a rut. Maybe a routine?

For example, there was a time not too long ago every lunch I packed (and often dinner, too) involved a tortilla wrap. They’re so versatile, so it’s not like I ate the same thing every day. I probably went through a 12-pack of tortillas every week or so.

This past week, I’ve just transitioned over to sandwiches. More specifically, Ezekiel sprouted bread. I love my bread chewy, full of seeds/nuts, and filling. This bread fits the bill, and tastes great toasted as well. In the past week alone, I’ve had:

"Healthy" Sausage, Egg & Cheese Sandwich with Soy Sausage, Egg white, and shredded cheese on toast

Toasted veggie burger with Avocado, Laughing Cow cheese & ketchup

Open-faced burger with cheese, onion, tomato and ketchup

I think grocery shopping/cooking is the main culprit here, beyond the fact that my taste buds really don’t mind routine. Grocery shopping and cooking for just one person is a challenge, so when I buy something (like a loaf of bread), I tend to get hooked and feel like I need to use it all up. And go back and buy another loaf next week. And another. Because it works, and I like it. I never switch it up, when maybe I should have a sandwich one day, salad the next, then soup, or maybe chicken after that…I’d have to keep so much of each type of food on hand at one time I’d get a bit overwhelmed!

The same goes to breakfast, too. The last 3 weeks or so, I’ve had the same breakfast every morning: Plain greek yogurt mixed with one sliced banana, cinnamon and dry oats sprinkled on top. I craved this breakfast every. single. day. This week, it’s all about the Kashi cereal with sliced banana, blueberries and bit of protein powder…and probably will be for the next few weeks because now I’m hooked. Until I get on my next kick :)

What’s your favorite food combo you’ve been hooked on recently? Give me some fun sandwich ideas! What do you do when you have sore/heavy/tired legs to get them feeling fresh and fast again?